Captain America Annual #4 (1977)

cap annual 4 coverThis annual, published between Captain America #212 and #213, contains a self-contained story that, similar to Kirby’s last annual, focuses on a strange and mysterious creature, this time not an alien from space but a mutant—which brings in Magneto, whose devious plans are contrasted with Captain America’s compassion.

Apparently Cap keeps on eye on the want ads in the newspaper for mutants in need of aid… but he’s not the only one.

 

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After Cap and Magneto stop fighting and thumping their chests at each other, the resident of the house they’ve just torn apart emerges and introduces them to the mutant in his care—at which point Magneto clearly reveals his intentions.

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Where there is a Mister One, there is bound to be a Mister Two, who happens to be protective of his “friend,” which Magneto discovers to his detriment.

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After Mister Two crushes Magneto’s helmet around his head and throws him through a wall, the master of magnetism flees, promising to return for Mister One. Having a keener appreciation of the danger Misters One and Two are in, Cap promises to help.

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When Cap visits S.H.I.E.L.D., he expresses a curiously paternal concern for them…

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…while the secrets of their linkage start to be revealed.

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After Mister One expresses distress, Mister Two goes on a rampage, and once Steve and S.H.I.E.L.D. subdue him, Cap has an epiphany—and emphasizes the need for better research ethics on the part of Nick Fury’s crew.

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And what does the trusted Captain America do to provide Mister Two some recreation? Why, he takes him jogging, of course!

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When Mister Two stops to admire a small bird, revealing his gentle side to Cap, the two are ambushed by the latest iteration of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, including one that could easily joint the Serpent Society as well.

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S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives and drives the evil mutants away, but not in time to prevent injury to Mister Two.

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After they return to S.H.I.E.L.D., they discover that Mister One has been abducted, and Cap not only is on to Magneto’s plan, but he also has solved the mystery… or mistery, if you will. (Sorry.)

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Back at Magneto’s hide-out, he reveals to the Brotherhood his plan to use Mister One to investigate a miniature “spaceship from the stars” that he hasn’t been able to open or even x-ray. But the evil mutants aren’t the only ones listening…

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“And they called me mad. Ha!” That’s what he was thinking, I’m sure of it.

It seems not even Cap realizes the extent of the symbiosis between Misters One and Two, though—but the trust he engenders with them pays off when Mister Two agrees to let him come along to face Magneto.

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(Seriously, Cap—no one feels better with the X-Men at their side.)

Magneto puts the inert Mister One into the tiny spaceship just before Cap and Mister Two burst into his lair, after which the battle is joined. Magneto puts Cap into a spin (who’s loving that spin he’s in), and somehow he’s able to free his arms while the rest of him keeps spinning… I don’t understand how but hey it’s comics!

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Cap remains defiant and resolute in the face of Magneto’s power—I love the look on his face while the knives land all around him—and he gets in one fierce blow before the rest of the evil mutants descend on him

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While Cap was fighting the others, the evil mutant named Burner caused Mister Two’s body to die, after which his consciousness returned to Mister One, who, realizing he could not survive long after the death of one of his bodies, rigged the spaceship to explode.

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Everyone escaped (except Mister One), and even though Cap fears meeting Magneto again (which he will), this Brotherhood of Evil Mutants will re-emerge in Captain America #343 (although it won’t be this Cap they face). And ironically, it’s Magneto who is now a mutant in two bodies—at least in the movies!


ISSUE DETAILS

Captain America (vol. 1) Annual #4, 1977: Jack Kirby (writer, pencils), John Vorpoorten and John Tartaglione (inks), George Roussos (colors), Jim Novak (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in: Captain America: The Swine and Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Volume Eleven


PREVIOUS ISSUES: Captain America #209-212 (May-August 1977)

NEXT ISSUES: Captain America #213-214 (September-October 1977)

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